Fotr those of us who live in America, suffering has become relative. I have known, and still know, people who believe tney are suffering because they can’t have the thing that they want. Look at Hollywood and at our pro athletes. They “suffer” when someone disagrees or criticizes them, and they do it very publicly so that their followers will sympathize, and so that they will be even more well known throughout the world. We have thousands if false martyrs today, who are in the martyr business for the publicity, fame, and notoriety it brings them. I have only contempt for that kind of grandstanding. The majority of us who are fortunate, blessed, to live in the United States, aren’t suffering; don’t know real suffering. I’m not belittling those who are truly suffering. Babies, children who are abused; women – and men – who are virtually slaves; people who have lost everything…. these people are the ones we should sympathizing with and helping through prayer and action. Just being financially poor isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having your utilities shut off, having no food, and no way to remedy it – these people are suffering. Living in a cardboard box or sleeping on a park bench in freezing weather; these people are suffering. Around the world, people suffer in real, tangible ways. No, most of us, if we really suffer at all, it is because we lack something essential to life. The suffering we should be praying for is what Peter wrote about.
“If you are insulted because you bear the Name of CHRIST, you will be blessed, for the Glorious SPIRIT of GOD rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise GOD for the privilege of being called by His Name!” – Peter 4:14-16 NLT
Do you pray to be insulted because you are a follower of our LORD, Jesus Christ? Do you pray for the privilege and honor of suffering because you bear the name Christian?
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with GOD everything is possible. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” – Matthew 19:26, 30 NLT
LORD, LORD, I pray that any suffering or insults I endure in the life are because I bear Your Name and because I am known to be a follower of Your Son, Jesus Christ; not from anything I have said or done. Your Name is Righteous and Holy! I Praise You and thank You for Your Salvation. Amen.